First Time Registration
PLEASURE CRAFT LICENCE
New Pleasure Craft Licence Form: You wish to obtain a Canadian pleasure craft licence number for a new or previously unlicensed pleasure craft.
Update Pleasure Craft Licence Form: There are changes to your name or address, description of your pleasure craft, or your contact information requires update.
Transfer Pleasure Craft Licence Form: You have acquired a Canadian licensed pleasure craft and are required to transfer the pleasure craft licence to your name.
Duplicate Pleasure Craft Licence Form: Your pleasure craft licence is either lost or destroyed – you want a duplicate copy of the original licence.
By completing the application request online, and uploading the required supporting documentation, an acknowledgment number (valid for 90 days from the initial issue date) will be issued and returned to the applicant by e-mail. The acknowledgment number is to be marked on either side of the pleasure craft, allowing the pleasure craft owner to use their craft immediately.
If the request for a pleasure craft licence is supported by the proper documentation, the permanent pleasure craft licence issued upon verification of the submitted request, will be identical to the acknowledgment number initially issued.
If any supporting documentation is found to be missing, an e-mail will be sent on the 45th and 75th day after the initial request for a pleasure craft licence was submitted notifying the applicant of any missing documentation and providing an URL whereby the document can be uploaded in order to validate the pleasure craft licensing request.
If the requested document is not received within 90 days, the application for a pleasure craft licence is automatically rejected and the acknowledgment number is cancelled.
THE ISSUED ACKNOWLEDGMENT NUMBER CANNOT BE REINSTATED once the initial application has been rejected and the applicant will have to resubmit their pleasure craft licence request as well as provide all the supporting documentation.
Upon resubmission, a new acknowledgment number will be issued. The marking of the pleasure craft with the new number will be the owner’s responsibility.
Upon verification of the application and supporting documentation, the permanent pleasure craft licence will be sent to the pleasure craft owner, by the delivery method selected (e-mail or by post).
A copy of the document must be printed and kept on board the vessel at all times and the acknowledgment/pleasure craft licence number is to be marked in BLOCK characters not less than 7.5 cm (3 inches) high, on each side of the bow of the boat and in a colour that contrasts with the background colour.
This new online submission method will eliminate the present mailing time and result in the pleasure craft owner being able to enjoy their boat sooner.
What is a pleasure craft?
A pleasure craft is a vessel that is used for recreation and does not carry passengers. It is a vessel of a prescribed class under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001.
NOTE: For the purposes of this definition, a “passenger” is a person who has paid a fee to be transported in a commercial vessel. A “guest” does not need to pay a fee.
What is a pleasure craft licence and why do I need it?
A pleasure craft licence provides a unique identification number – commonly referred to as the “licence number” – that you must display on your recreational vessel, as required under the Small Vessel Regulations of the Canada Shipping Act, 2001. This licence number helps law-enforcement and search and rescue officials trace a pleasure craft to its owner.
What types of pleasure craft do I need to license?
A licence or registration is mandatory for all pleasure craft equipped with motors of 10 horsepower (7.5 kilowatts) or more, including personal watercraft, which are principally maintained or operated in Canada.
Owners of pleasure craft of all tonnages and lengths may choose to license them under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001. Alternatively, pleasure craft owners may choose to register their vessels in the Canadian Register of Vessels.
How long is a pleasure craft licence valid for?
Due to recent changes to Section 106 of the Small Vessel Regulations, pleasure craft licences are now valid for 10 years. If there are changes to your name or address in that time, you must update your licence. This information is used by law enforcement and search and rescue organizations in emergency situations.
How should I display the licence number on my pleasure craft?
You must display the licence number on both sides of the bow, above the waterline, in block characters that are at least 7.5 centimetres (3 inches) high and in a colour that contrasts with the colour of the bow.
Does the licence prove the ownership of my pleasure craft?
A licence does not prove that you own your pleasure craft. You must carry separate ownership documents with you.
I just bought a new pleasure craft. How do I license it?
To license a new or previously unlicensed pleasure craft, there are now two (2) options available to submit your request for a pleasure craft licence number; electronically (the preferred method) or by post.
How do I license a pleasure craft that I bought in the United States? Or that I bought in a country other than Canada?
To license a new or used pleasure craft you bought in the United States, or in any country other than Canada, follow the application instructions given for I just bought a new pleasure craft. How do I license it? You may apply for a Pleasure Craft Licence online through the Pleasure Craft Electronic Licensing System, or you may submit your application, by post.
NOTE: In the PCELS, when completing the New Application: Vessel Information, select the “Imported” button, as Origin of Craft : (required).
On the Application Form, “FOREIGN” must be indicated/checked in section “C” – Unlicensed pleasure craft.
You do not need to provide customs clearance documents to license a pleasure craft that you purchased outside of Canada, but you still need to remit duty and taxes on the purchase to the Canada Border Services Agency.
For information on how to remit duty and taxes on the purchase of a pleasure craft, please visit the Canada Border Services Agency Web site or call 1-800-461-9999.
A pleasure craft can only have one licence issued either in Canada or in the United States (US). It cannot have both. Displaying both licence numbers can result in a fine.
In order for a pleasure craft to be eligible for a Canadian licence, it must be principally maintained and operated in Canada.
From Transport Canada
A Pleasure Craft Licence is a document with a unique licence number for a pleasure craft. The number serves as identification for the vessel and allows search and rescue personnel to access important information in an emergency.
A vessel used for pleasure, recreation, or daily living is a pleasure craft.
Determining whether a Pleasure Craft Licence is required
Every pleasure craft must have a Pleasure Craft Licence, with the following exceptions:
a pleasure craft using a motor with less than 10 horsepower (7.5 kW)
a pleasure craft that has a vessel registration
a pleasure craft that was purchased less than 90 days previously (this is a grace period, during which the new owner must carry documentation with their name and address and the purchase date)
Using a Pleasure Craft Licence
After you receive your Pleasure Craft Licence, you must use it as follows:
Carry the Pleasure Craft Licence on board the vessel at all times.
Display the number on both sides of your boat’s bow. The number must appear in block characters which are:
at least 7.5 centimetres (3 inches) high
in a colour that contrasts with the colour of the bow
There is a $250 fine if you are found operating a vessel without a licence.
Renewing or updating a Pleasure Craft Licence
A Pleasure Craft Licence is valid for 10 years. At the end of that period, you must renew your licence.
If you change your name, address, or particulars of the pleasure craft after you obtain a Pleasure Craft Licence, you must update your licence.